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Vague quantifiers of behavioral frequency: An investigation of the nature and consequences of differences in interpretation

Jamie Lynn Marincic, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Behavioral frequency survey data is commonly collected using vaguely quantified response options. To the extent that individuals differ in their interpretation of vague quantifiers, detected group differences in behavioral frequency may be due to group differences in vague quantifier interpretation. Furthermore, measurement models assuming vague quantifier interpretation to be consistent among items and respondents may classify items into incorrect factors or incorrectly place respondents on the latent continuum.^ Using experimental data from the 2006 administration of the National Survey of Student Engagement, the current study first demonstrates that individual differences in interpretation do exist. Second, the study considers various predictors of differential interpretation and determines that interpretation varies by both item content and an individual‘s overall level of engagement in the behavior. Interestingly, the study also finds that vague quantifier interpretation varies considerably depending on the unit of time for which a vague quantifier was quantified. Finally, the study demonstrates that measurement models based on numerically and vaguely quantified frequency reports differ and explores whether a factor mixture model adequately models a substantive factor while controlling for individual differences in interpretation.^

Subject Area

Sociology, Theory and Methods

Recommended Citation

Marincic, Jamie Lynn, "Vague quantifiers of behavioral frequency: An investigation of the nature and consequences of differences in interpretation" (2011). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3481268.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3481268

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